We all have what I call a sweet spot, those areas where we excel in business. When we’re naturally good in certain spaces, we gravitate that way. The quality level of our work tends to be higher and we get those tasks done more efficiently. Knowing our strengths is key to performing at our peak.
Yet working only in only in areas of strength, or failing to recognize our weaknesses, can stagnate us and the entire organization. Here are three strategies to make the most of working outside of your comfort zone.
1. Leverage opposing strengths on your team. When we lack certain strengths, we not only avoid those activities, we can feel badly about giving that work to someone else. The good news is individuals within your organization who have different strengths will welcome the opportunity to use their talents. People enjoy being valued for their strengths, so don’t hesitate to call upon your team for theirs.
If you’re in a position to help people identify their strengths, see if their current job utilizes their strengths to the fullest. This will also give you the opportunity to restructure roles or create projects that allow people to maximize their abilities.
2. Bring in outside resources when there’s a shortage of strengths. If you or your organization lacks a particular strength, consider hiring a consultant or temporary resource to fill the gap. With a start-up business, you may need additional resources to bolster the experience on your team. You may be heavy in the sales/business development function but lack resources in marketing, accounting or operations.
Look to outsource or use a fractional professional who can bring the necessary or missing skill set to the table. Consider forming a board with senior level executives with applicable experience and talents to mentoring in specific areas.
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3. Schedule it into your day. Sometimes, we have work that isn't our strength. Pick the time of day when you will be at your best to perform tasks outside of your sweet spot. If you’re a morning person, find an hour before you begin other activities to focus on the tasks you may be avoiding.
Whether its paperwork, accounting or sales calls that you shy away from, focus on it before it’s a pressure point. Creating a structured timeline will allow you to accomplish your goals, including challenging tasks, while you become more proficient in these gap areas.
Understanding the talent mix among individuals and the team is vital to any organization. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Knowing yours and finding ways to leverage your talents and the strengths of others will bring increased fulfillment, productivity and success.
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